Wages rising steadily

Labor costs are back on the rise after the brutal wage cuts of 2009-10, according to the latest from the Central Statistics Bureau (CSB) published Monday.

"Compared to the second quarter of 2013 hourly labor costs in the second quarter of 2014 grew by 51 cents per hour or by 8.6%, reaching EUR 6.58," the CSB said.

Seasonally adjusted data (which takes into account the number of calendar days and seasonal influences) show that labor costs increased by a more modest 6.0%.

The most notable increase in hourly labor costs was recorded in real estate activities (12.9%).

While bigger pay packets will be welcomed by workers, there is also some room for caution as the economic boom before the 2009 crash was characterized by rapid wage growth not matched by increases in productivity.

The boom then turned into the world's biggest economic bust.

Therefore it may be worth keeping an eye on the fact that while regular wages and salaries in real estate activities grew by 12.2% year on year in the second quarter, the number of hours worked actually declined by 2.6%.

Similarly in financial and insurance activities a gradual decline was recorded in the number of employees as well as in hours worked, while regular wages and irregular premiums and bonuses still showed a positive trend.

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